CUPE Local 500 > News/Media > Local News > Health Care Bargaining Update #15

Health Care Bargaining Update #15

April 19, 2022 at 3:38 PM

As we stated in the last bargaining bulletin your Bargaining Council continues to meet with the Employer (PHLRS). We continue to see movement; however, we know that members are frustrated at how long this round of bargaining is taking. 
 
Mediation
 
The parties have agreed to request the help of a mediator to get a collective agreement. Mediation is a common part of the negotiating process. 
 
The mediator assists both sides to come to an agreement on the outstanding proposals. The parties have agreed to continue to meet on their own to try and resolve some of the letters of understanding. Any agreement reached through mediation will still be voted on by the members. 
 
Bargaining dates 
 
Currently bargaining dates are confirmed for April and May. Dates for mediation are set by the mediator. We will not have a lot of say when we can meet with the mediator, it will depend on their schedule. There is also no guarantee that mediation will make bargaining move faster, it just help the parties reach agreement on proposals. 
 
Our negotiating team has exchanged 118 documents so far. Although many language proposals have been agreed to and resolved, there are still outstanding language proposals. The outstanding language is about vacation (single days vs. blocks), union representation at meetings, how STATs will be taken, how overtime and pick up shifts will be awarded (seniority vs. equitable), and bumping. 
 
We have made some progress on monetary matters, but most remain outstanding. 
 
What happens if mediation doesn’t work? 
 
There are two options should mediation not get us to a collective agreement. 
 
Option 1. We serve notice to strike and proceed to the picket line. We are required to serve seven (7) days’ notice before going on strike. See attached re: Strike Questions and Answers. 
 
Option 2. The parties could agree to binding arbitration. Currently The Labour Relations Act allows for unions to apply for binding arbitration after sixty (60) days on strike. Binding arbitration is where an arbitrator (sort of a judge) decides what will be in a collective agreement. Binding arbitration is used to resolve any outstanding items, most often wages, that the parties cannot come to agreement on. Anything already agreed to between the parties is not something the arbitrator would review. 
 
The parties could also agree to proceed to binding arbitration instead of going on strike. 
 
Once the binding arbitration process has started, whatever the arbitrator decides is what the union gets. There would be no voting on a collective agreement.
 
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please send an email to healthcare@cupe.ca.